Fading Batteries and their Effects

 
 
 
 
 
 
harringtonp
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Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 24.02.2023  ·  #1
Trying to figure out whether my leisure batteries are on the way out or whether or not what I'm seeing is normal behaviour.

I have 2 of these calcium batteries which at a best guess have been in the vehicle since 2016 (have a Dutch receipt showing a huge amount of work at this time and batteries are mentioned):

https://katalog.zap.pl/akumulator-energy-plus-960-07-prid144

I don't charge the batteries from mains and am dependent on driving but I do use it a lot. The pattern of usage is drive somewhere that's usually 10-15 minutes in the morning, work from the camper (use it as an office) and then drive back in the afternoon or early evening. I also use it for short local runs some evenings and most weekends it will get a longer run of an hour or so.

I've seen people on here say they don't let the voltage reading go below 12V but if i did that I would be switching everything off pretty quick and it wouldn't work as a mobile office. The main draws on power are the Truma C3402 heater and a Victron 500A inverter which powers a monitor and macbook. Apart from that it's only occasional pump use when filling a kettle etc, I don't tend to switch on the fridge this time of year which also works of the batteries.

The Truma uses gas but there would be a draw on the batteries for fans. Twice recently the Truma just hasn't gone on. I turned the thermostat right up and nothing happened. I switched it off and on again and the red and green leds in:

https://motor-roam.co.uk/wp-co…067324.jpg

flickered once on and off quickly. Nothing else happened, no sound, tried a few times. Drove back home and it worked again but after it was on for a while in the driveway the same thing happened. It worked fine the following day and has continued since then.

I strongly suspect this truma refusal to start was linked to the battery voltage which I think was reading in the 11.5-11.8 range around that time. Another time when it was on the fans sounded weak and again I suspect this could be a battery issue.

Does this sound plausible or is there something else I'm missing that you can think of ?

The thing with the voltage reading is that even after a short drive it goes back over 12V so when you start it's not much of an indicator how much change is left in them.

I've never that problems with the inverter equipment but I suspect the battery would need to go down a long way before I would start seeing issues here.

How long do batteries generally last or is that a how long is a piece of string question ?

And with healthy batteries how much recharging would you expect with 15 minutes of driving ?

And finally do these batteries sound like they are on their way out or would this be fairly normal behaviour ?


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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 24.02.2023  ·  #2
With no other form of charging other than a short drive and batteries 7 years old I would suggest that your problem starts here.
Why not introduce a smart charger for when vehicle is parked up or fit a solar panel?


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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 24.02.2023  ·  #3
B2B
Proper solar
EHU when parked up
Good quality batteries
Everything LED and as efficient as possible
Proper battery monitor

As Norman said, 7 year old batteries are near end of life. I got 5 years from mine which get what I consider heavy usage and I consider that very acceptable. I’ve all the items as listed above.


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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 24.02.2023  ·  #4
Quote by ntg

With no other form of charging other than a short drive and batteries 7 years old I would suggest that your problem starts here.
Why not introduce a smart charger for when vehicle is parked up or fit a solar panel?


I do have a facility to plug into an EHU but it means leaving a window or the front door open. As would be the case with a smart charger. Which would generally be quicker ? I've only used the EHU hookup once and can't judge how long it takes.


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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 24.02.2023  ·  #5
Quote by JJF

B2B
Proper solar
EHU when parked up
Good quality batteries
Everything LED and as efficient as possible
Proper battery monitor

As Norman said, 7 year old batteries are near end of life. I got 5 years from mine which get what I consider heavy usage and I consider that very acceptable. I’ve all the items as listed above.


Whats B2B ?

Battery monitor ? Something like https://www.amazon.co.uk/Batte…hdGY&psc=1 ?

Would this give more useful info than the existing control panel which displays the current voltage and drawn amps ?

Can anyone advise based on experience how well driving charges healthy leisure batteries. For example should an hours drive fully charge the batteries ?

I hadn't seriously considered solar. During the summer I wasn't using the heater so the draw was very low. In the winter when it would be really needed there is less sun about...

Checked the 2016 work again and it looks like it was the engine starter battery (accu start batterijn) that was replaced, so actually I've no idea how old they are...


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Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 24.02.2023  ·  #6
Consider first drill a hole in the wall and fit a waterproof outside socket, plug the van in at home, assuming you have an EHU on board charger.
Then consider upgrading your system, solar, new battery's, B2B charging

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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 25.02.2023  ·  #7
7 years leisure battery you've done well


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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 25.02.2023  ·  #8
Quote by eirebus

7 years leisure battery you've done well


Did you go for that open wallet surgery yet Dave?......Lithium is calling 😄😄


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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 25.02.2023  ·  #9
Quote by mad max

Quote by eirebus

7 years leisure battery you've done well


Did you go for that open wallet surgery yet Dave?......Lithium is calling 😄😄


Have bought one, not fitted it yet ,11.5 kg compared to 48 kg of the 2 lead's I have now, fitting it early next week

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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 25.02.2023  ·  #10
Quote by eirebus

Have bought one, not fitted it yet ,11.5 kg compared to 48 kg of the 2 lead's I have now, fitting it early next week


Its the way to go 👍🏽👍🏽

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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 25.02.2023  ·  #11
Quote by harringtonp

Quote by JJF

B2B
Proper solar
EHU when parked up
Good quality batteries
Everything LED and as efficient as possible
Proper battery monitor

As Norman said, 7 year old batteries are near end of life. I got 5 years from mine which get what I consider heavy usage and I consider that very acceptable. I’ve all the items as listed above.


Whats B2B ?




I believe it’s an alternative (upgrade) to the standard split charge relay that’s usually fitted as standard


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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 25.02.2023  ·  #12
Quote by Galldar

Quote by harringtonp

Quote by JJF

B2B
Proper solar
EHU when parked up
Good quality batteries
Everything LED and as efficient as possible
Proper battery monitor

As Norman said, 7 year old batteries are near end of life. I got 5 years from mine which get what I consider heavy usage and I consider that very acceptable. I’ve all the items as listed above.


Whats B2B ?




I believe it’s an alternative (upgrade) to the standard split charge relay that’s usually fitted as standard


https://www.12voltplanet.co.uk…rgers.html

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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 25.02.2023  ·  #13
a solar panel of 100W+ with an mppt controller, a new battery and a split charge relay will do the job for you. The B2B will not be needed on a 1998 van as it wont have a 'smart alternator'. Your batteries are most likely knackered and are not getting anywhere near fully charged. They will indeed still register a decent voltage probaly after a drive, but the fact that they are not holding the charge means then are most likely toast. About 450 euro should buy the components id say and its all an easy \diy fit.


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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 25.02.2023  ·  #14
Even on an older vehicle a proper B2B has multiple advantages over a VSR/SCR system.

Firstly, it will deliver voltages consistent via its inbuilt algorithm with full 3 stage charging abilities, this is much more efficient than coupling batteries via the old relay system.

It will also smooth out the sampling frequency of older alternators, which is usually < 20hz before rectification … the victon will deliver up to 200hz sampling… this means a much more efficient charge management.

In general a B2B (Victon) will provide 20%+ greater efficiency than the standard split charge in a vehicle prior to approx 2013.

The efficiency in newer systems (smart alternator controlled by ECU) is multiples of that, much much more efficient. (and problematic !) at the same time.

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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 25.02.2023  ·  #15
Quote by JJF

Even on an older vehicle a proper B2B has multiple advantages over a VSR/SCR system.

Firstly, it will deliver voltages consistent via its inbuilt algorithm with full 3 stage charging abilities, this is much more efficient than coupling batteries via the old relay system.

It will also smooth out the sampling frequency of older alternators, which is usually < 20hz before rectification … the victon will deliver up to 200hz sampling… this means a much more efficient charge management.

In general a B2B (Victon) will provide 20%+ greater efficiency than the standard split charge in a vehicle prior to approx 2013.

The efficiency in newer systems (smart alternator controlled by ECU) is multiples of that, much much more efficient. (and problematic !) at the same time.


all sounds fine...but thay are multiple times he price. Ive had an M power VSR for £40 fitted for 4 years with no issues. I havent needed EHU since 2019 and that even using a 240v fridge via inverter. Also allows my solar to feed back excess to starter...i was suggesting to the OP a cost effective method...


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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 25.02.2023  ·  #16
Quote by Hymer544

Quote by JJF

Even on an older vehicle a proper B2B has multiple advantages over a VSR/SCR system.

Firstly, it will deliver voltages consistent via its inbuilt algorithm with full 3 stage charging abilities, this is much more efficient than coupling batteries via the old relay system.

It will also smooth out the sampling frequency of older alternators, which is usually < 20hz before rectification … the victon will deliver up to 200hz sampling… this means a much more efficient charge management.

In general a B2B (Victon) will provide 20%+ greater efficiency than the standard split charge in a vehicle prior to approx 2013.

The efficiency in newer systems (smart alternator controlled by ECU) is multiples of that, much much more efficient. (and problematic !) at the same time.


all sounds fine...but thay are multiple times he price. Ive had an M power VSR for £40 fitted for 4 years with no issues. I havent needed EHU since 2019 and that even using a 240v fridge via inverter. Also allows my solar to feed back excess to starter...i was suggesting to the OP a cost effective method...


I have the model mentioned here for probably 15 years and has never been an issue. It does bring the batteries back to a good state of charge after surprisingly little driving. FWIW I think it's a great bit of kit.

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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 26.02.2023  ·  #17
Sterling products are a good bit if kit too Colin. Kevin has rightly stated there are other products that offer a more cost effective solution. Any B2B will assist with battery charging/maintenance and offer greater performance over a standard system.

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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 26.02.2023  ·  #18
Quote by JJF

Sterling products are a good bit if kit too Colin. Kevin has rightly stated there are other products that offer a more cost effective solution. Any B2B will assist with battery charging/maintenance and offer greater performance over a standard system.


BTW, I'm not the Colin who posted in the comments following the item in the link, it's just a coincidence :-)

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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 26.02.2023  ·  #19
Quote by eirebus

7 years leisure battery you've done well


That I don't know. I've only had it 6 months, the owner before had it from Mar 2021 and he certainly didn't replace them. I now think the battery change in 2016 on the works receipt was the main vehicle starter battery. So that's 2+ years with the plus likely being a fair bit more as I couldn't imagine the Dutch seller replacing them in the months before the sale.

I like Martin's (? sprinter's) idea of fitting an outside socket. Seems the most hassle free option for now and can be used for other things too.

The batteries are calcium, anyone know anything about this type of battery, haven't seen it mentioned on this forum, the chat has been about lead and lithium from what I see.

I know I'm being like a dog with a bone here but still trying to get a feel for how well a healthy battery recharges with an hours drive ? Surely somebody must have a feel for it.... I suspect that unlike most on here my electrical usage is light, the inverter is 500A and only used for computer equipment and apart from that the only other draw worth mentioning is whatever the Truma C3402 requires. If short drives do recharge them well then I may not need to look at anything else with my current usage pattern.

Where I'm coming from is that if I thought new batteries would charge well with an hours drive and I'd get a good run out of them using them as I do, I'd replace what I have. Otherwise I'l just run with what I have for a while and get an outside socket fitted.


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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 26.02.2023  ·  #20
Quote by harringtonp

Quote by eirebus

7 years leisure battery you've done well

.................. I know I'm being like a dog with a bone here but still trying to get a feel for how well a healthy battery recharges with an hours drive ? Surely somebody must have a feel for it.... I


Not much is the answer. Simple charging by the alternator in parallel with the starting battery isn't very effective for recharging the leisure battery. It's reasonable if your on the road for six or eight hours. To fully charge the leisure battery it's best to have an EHU and/or a B2B, solar is good too in the summer.
35 years experience talking.


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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 26.02.2023  ·  #21
Quote by baguette

Quote by harringtonp

Quote by eirebus

7 years leisure battery you've done well

.................. I know I'm being like a dog with a bone here but still trying to get a feel for how well a healthy battery recharges with an hours drive ? Surely somebody must have a feel for it.... I


Not much is the answer. Simple charging by the alternator in parallel with the starting battery isn't very effective for recharging the leisure battery. It's reasonable if your on the road for six or eight hours. To fully charge the leisure battery it's best to have an EHU and/or a B2B, solar is good too in the summer.
35 years experience talking.


Thanks, appreciate this answer. And it makes it clear to me that the next step in the diagnostics process should be to charge via the EHU every now and then (only used it once in the 6 months I've had the camper) and see how much I get out of them after. If it's quite good then all the more reason to get an outside socket. If it's poor than I guess I'll be looking at new batteries, don't want the faff of having to plug in every evening, emptying the toilet and refilling the water once a week is enough for me !

Would you know how long the EHU should generally be left in for to get a full charge ? The only indicators I have is a control panel voltage reading which I don't trust (given that it reads high after a short drive) or possibly the charging LED (the LED between B1 and B2 comes on when the engine us running) if it were to go off when the battery is fully charged (suspect it doesn't though...)

 


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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 26.02.2023  ·  #22
Quote by harringtonp

Quote by baguette

Quote by harringtonp

Quote by eirebus

7 years leisure battery you've done well

.................. I know I'm being like a dog with a bone here but still trying to get a feel for how well a healthy battery recharges with an hours drive ? Surely somebody must have a feel for it.... I


Not much is the answer. Simple charging by the alternator in parallel with the starting battery isn't very effective for recharging the leisure battery. It's reasonable if your on the road for six or eight hours. To fully charge the leisure battery it's best to have an EHU and/or a B2B, solar is good too in the summer.
35 years experience talking.


.................

Would you know how long the EHU should generally be left in for to get a full charge ?



I leave my ehu permanently connected when at home. Apart from charging the batteries the charger also does a trickle charge to keep them topped up.
Everyone who is fortunate enough to be able to park their motorhome at home should have an outside socket they can plug into.

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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 27.02.2023  ·  #23
Hooked up the EHU this morning and a lot less faff than expected. Plugged in upstairs, dropped cable outside window and plugged into the camper.

And it looks as if there may be an indicator when the battery is fully charged. When I plugged in at first the red LED on the fuse panel below was lit and the green wasn't. And after 45 mins it was as shown

 


Will be keeping a close eye on voltage levels and how quickly it would appear to run down today.


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Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 27.02.2023  ·  #24
I've had a quick browse around Calcium batteries, one thing that was mentioned, a couple of times was the need to have a higher charging voltage of around 16volts, low charging voltage over a relatively short period, could be what your problem is.
Check what is the outbut voltage of your alternator and EHU charger.
With conventional chargers,
"it will not be possible to restore the capacity of a calcium battery to 100%. For high-quality charging, voltage is required in the range of 16 - 16.5 V. Also for activation of the process desulfation It is recommended to purchase devices that allow variable charging and discharging of the battery in a certain sequence."

'If you need to charge a calcium battery with an adjustable device, you need to set the voltage to about 16 V and the current equal to 10% of the battery capacity. After 10 hours of charging in this mode, the battery will be restored to full capacity."

https://technoluxpro.com/en/ak…ievye.html

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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 28.02.2023  ·  #25
Quote by sprinter

I've had a quick browse around Calcium batteries, one thing that was mentioned, a couple of times was the need to have a higher charging voltage of around 16volts, low charging voltage over a relatively short period, could be what your problem is.
Check what is the outbut voltage of your alternator and EHU charger.


Not sure how to determine the output voltage. The charging cable has 240V/16A written on it, there is no useful information on the charging socket on the camper and the control unit for switching on the EHU supply is as shown in the photo above.

Next time I charge I'll plug in for longer. This morning's was short but had no issues today.

Thanks Paul.


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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 30.07.2023  ·  #26
Resurrecting this as the batteries are definitely gone now.

Looking at

https://shop.vanderlust.com/el…ttery.html

which if in stock (as stated) would be very handy as they are just down the road and the price good from what I see looking around.

Don't suppose anyone here has ever used this battery ?

Also reading up on lithium and am wondering if at some stage in the future I wanted to try running off one (rather than 2), what do you do about the second battery. I presume I can't just tape up the loose ends shown in the photo (this is the battery under the passenger seat, the one under the drivers seat connects to the fuse panel and there is a big bunch of cables) and expect it all to work ?

And finally there was chat above of B2B and split relays. As I can charge from driving as well as EHU I presume one or the other of these is in the vehicle. Where would it normally be located ?
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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 31.07.2023  ·  #27
I presume it's the same Hankook that do tyres, if so it should do what it says on the tin. At the price it's definitely worth a punt.

Check out the thread on here about fitting lithium, it's a mine of good info and opinion.

A B2B is an excellent piece of kit for pumping in charge while the engine is running as it would have a proper multi stage changing algorithm, whereas as split charger is just a passive connection to the engine battery.


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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 31.07.2023  ·  #28
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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 31.07.2023  ·  #29
Thanks. Will check that link out. Went through

https://forum.motorhomeparking…hp?t=24684

in detail yesterday and found some good info and links in there also.

Dropped up and that Hankook battery is no longer an option. He had got about 6 in but they flew out within days and they can't source any more.

So it will be a 2 hours return journey to Halfords for me to pick up a pair of

https://www.halfords.ie/motori…82063.html

I'd prefer the sound of the class A ones but they don't seem to be in stock.

Lithium is something to look into but from the reading I've done so far if you're going to invest in them you should invest in the equipment around them too and that's involve time and knowledge on top of cash

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Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 31.07.2023  ·  #30
Are you with AXA? they have a 10%deal on batteries with Halfords.


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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 31.07.2023  ·  #31
harringtonp
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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 01.08.2023  ·  #32
No I'm Aviva through Arachas so no discount for me.

Yes that's the battery I'm looking to get. Rang them and they have a few in stock.


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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 01.08.2023  ·  #33
In terms of getting rid of old batteries can I expect Halfords to take them ?

All going to plan I would hope to fit the new ones in their carpark


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Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 01.08.2023  ·  #34
Quote by harringtonp

In terms of getting rid of old batteries can I expect Halfords to take them ?

All going to plan I would hope to fit the new ones in their carpark


Is there no one around you with an AXA card?
If they don't, the local council recycling should take them.

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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 01.08.2023  ·  #35
Even an insurance disc picture once it says axa on it they dont check it anyway,


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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 01.08.2023  ·  #36
Quote by sprinter

Are you with AXA? they have a 10%deal on batteries with Halfords.


You're right, Halfords give a 10% discount but it doesn't apply to batteries, because they give a 20% on those 🙂

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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 01.08.2023  ·  #37
Is there anyone in the family with a vehicle injured by AXA. Remember if using a brokerage check who they have gotten the policy from.


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Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 01.08.2023  ·  #38
Quote by baguette

Quote by sprinter

Are you with AXA? they have a 10%deal on batteries with Halfords.


You're right, Halfords give a 10% discount but it doesn't apply to batteries, because they give a 20% on those 🙂


Sorry Colin, they do give 10% at the check out, on Leisure batteries, ( got two last week in Wexford) and they say 20% on starter batteries.

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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 01.08.2023  ·  #39
Quote by harringtonp

In terms of getting rid of old batteries can I expect Halfords to take them ?

All going to plan I would hope to fit the new ones in their carpark


Old batteries are worth money, scrap yard may pay you for them, which would help towards cost of new ones :)


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Re: Fading Batteries and their Effects

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Posted: 01.08.2023  ·  #40
Was on my way in to Limerick and too late to organise an Axa disk. They gave a little off however and the 2 batteries came to 275.

Just happy to be able to get them replaced. Didn't know what to expect but the job was comparatively easy in the end. Still took well over an hour though with the removal of the inverter and passenger seat.

The HLB700 was almost exactly the same size as the originals which made life easier as the battery behind the drivers seat was boxed in and there was no spare space. A different sized battery would have meant a new box and associated carpentry.

Will be working from Halfords for the day, partly to make sure all is good and I didn't buy duds. So far all does seems good, fridge on and inverter powering a monitor and mac.

The control panel shows the voltage as sitting at 12.1 when the fridge is running and 12.3 when it is not. Would this be what would be expected ? And at what control panel voltage might the 50% discharge marker be hit at ? Thought I read under 12 but that doesn't leave much leeway here if 12.3 is standard on new presumably full batteries. The batteries do have an indicator on them but the problem is that once installed you can't see it

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